Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Romans 2:1-16 (NIV)
God’s Righteous Judgment
2 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism. 12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
From your experience, is it easier for those who grew up in a Christian home to appreciate God’s grace or someone who had no religious training as a child?
Holy Father, I am a sinner. I have rejected You, hurt others, and have been selfish. My behavior has not always brought You honor or glory. Help me to not look at others with judgment in my heart and mind. I am no different than they are. Help me remember how You loved and forgave me from my sins and realize that You desire to do the same with all people. Help me to realize that without You, I am nothing. But by Your grace, I have been saved. Because of Your love, I have turned my life around. Lord, keep me feeling comfortable in my faith since a child and do not rest in my Christian background. Help me to really appreciate what You have done for me. The more grace received, the more it is appreciated. Let me consider the grace you showed me when I view others not living according to Your will. They still have the opportunity to respond to Your grace and they too can be saved. You know their hearts and You are the ultimate judge, not me. Teach me how to be kind and give me patience. Help me to look for opportunities to share Your love and help those who do not live according to recognize that You will forgive them and accept them into Your family if they accept Your grace. The time is now, life is short, and there is no better time than now to share Your truth and love. Amen